icon icon icon icon icon icon icon

A new way to farm

A man walking in a field of green plants

Surveying the newly-flourishing crops

Surveying the newly-flourishing crops

In between high green mountains, a steep gorge and white water streams lies Al Joroof village of Maswar district, Amran governorate in northern Yemen. It is a thrilling landscape. Most of the villagers descend from poor families that depend on agriculture as their main source of income.

Yemen has become increasingly unstable since the conflict escalated dramatically in mid-March 2015, severely disrupting the economy, including the agriculture sector, leading to the collapse of essential services and exhausting people’s coping mechanisms.

The villagers of Al Joroof have learned about the intricacies of farming from their ancestors. “Like the rest of the villagers, I have been a farmer since my childhood,” says Mohammed Hassan, a 45-year-old farmer. “The money we used to earn before the war allowed us a decent living, but after the outbreak of war, the price of the seeds skyrocketed and the devaluation of the national currency forced many farmers to abandon commercial cultivation on agricultural land. We were powerless.”

A landscape of mountains and clouds
Al Joroof village is in a beautiful and remote mountainous area

Farmers in Al Joroof became used to using bad agricultural practices. “We used to waste a lot of water in flooding irrigation and this affected our crops,” says Saddam Mohammed, a 32-year-old farmer. “In addition, Nitrogen fertilisers were heavily used which caused the spread of diseases and financial loss. We didn’t know how to protect our crops and were not aware of the modern practices of agriculture.”

Using traditional farming methods has affected the agricultural production of the village for years since the village farmers don’t know the right way of planting. They have also suffered from the high prices of fertilisers and other staple commodities. As a result, the supply and distribution of locally produced food to the markets is poor, causing devastating effects on livelihoods. If they are not provided with agricultural tools and technical trainings, they will lose their only source of income and the number of people living in food insecurity will increase.

In response to these needs, with funding from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), CARE intervened with a project focusing on seed distributions and technical trainings. Farmers benefited from this project which has helped them to learn about modern agricultural practices and provided them with seeds to plant their farms.

A man kneeling next to a sack of vegetables
Mohammed with his crops

“Farmers were able to prepare their small lands for planting again, thanks to the seeds and the training we received,” says Mohammed. “This project helped us to understand and cope with potential threats. Agronomists monitored the farmers to build their capacity and to provide technical assistance.”

Farmers of the village looked at some of the bad practices they were using previously, and learned how to plant properly. “We now understand how to prepare organic manure, balanced compound fertilisers and farm manure,” says Saddam. “We also learned about organic agriculture and manure analysis by fermentation.”

Farmers are now able to produce onions, arugula and radishes. The misconceptions about agriculture in general are gone. They have noticed the difference between flood irrigation and drip irrigation and how plants cultivated with the use of drip irrigation have a more vivid and flourishing shape than those sown in the traditional way. They also started marketing their own products through packaging them and transporting them to the main wholesale market. They hope they can expand into unutilised agricultural land in the near future.

A field of plants on a hillside
Agricultural terraces in Al Joroof
Back to Top